i don’t do ritual very well. i do not know how seriously to take it, whether it requires of me a solemnity and focus i can seldom sustain. i long for it, for the way it imbues acts with meaning, with signification, but i skitter from it too…unable to trust myself to do it justice.

but at 7 pm tonight, while i was in the midst of running out for circuit training class (a passing fancy, i fear), and Dave was giving Oscar his bath, i lit a candle.

we stopped for a minute in the noise and the haste and the splashing, and lit a candle in the bathroom and turned out the lights. we watched the flame flicker across the porcelain and cast long shadows on the wall, and we watched Oscar’s eyes grow big and black and full of magic. and we told him about his brother, spoke him by name. and we laughed a bit, and tears spashed in O’s bathwater, and duck silhouettes were cast on the tub wall. it was…kinda nice. to not split myself, on any level. to be there in the most mundane of circumstances, present at bathtime to both my children, the living and the dead.

it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, today. and even if it was bathtime and run out the door time, i wanted to participate in the Wave of Light that goes ’round the world with these candles lit at 7 pm, across time zones. because life goes on. and because life is forever different, after. and the two, eventually, if one is very lucky, come to coexist.

it was not much of a ritual perhaps. but it was a first, groping gesture to try to honour the little one who came first, aloud and simply, as a part of the life we have now.

for Finn, who was our Runt from the very first days. for the others who had no names.

for Liam, too, and Natan, and Molly & Joseph, and Alex and Travis, and A, and Matilda who was survivorgirl and all her sisters, and the twins, and Shoelet, and Jordan, and Nicolas, and Thomas, and Joseph, and cousin Sarah, and Shalebug, even if he wasn’t an infant anymore. and for all the others whose names i do not know, those whose names are known only to their mothers, or not at all.

miss you. love you, still.